Tuesday, February 14, 2017

What's Happening at Books & Benches?

For those of you still following via our old blog, we wanted to let you know about all the bookish stuff that's happened at the new site. 

Yesterday we announced the 2017 ScĂ©al Book Award Finalists. This is our first year hosting this book award contest and there are some great finalists chosen from a lot of great books reviewed. 

We've also had oodles of book reviews, author interviews, giveaways, deals, and more. We've also created a bookish forum for readers and authors. 

You won't want to miss out on our monthly cover contests. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Latest and Greatest from the New Books & Benches!

We're having a lot of fun over at the new website. But don't worry, you can still follow here if you prefer Blogger or don't like change (we're right there with you). We're going to periodically post updates so you don't miss out. 

Here's what's been happening . . . 
The Latest and Greatest from Books & Benches




 There's more! Visit www.booksandbenches.com to check out our other book reviews, author interviews, and more at the blog. 

Until our next Latest & Greatest roundup, happy reading!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Books & Benches Cover Contest and More Fun

Interested to see what some of the readers and authors are up to at the new site?

 Check out the monthly book cover contest (it's on fire right now).

Take a look at while we're currently reading for review, or browse through the completed reviews for your next read.

The New Books & Benches Site is Here!

If you've reached this page, you're probably one of the many who are currently subscribed via email to this blog. The good news is that the new Books & Benches website is now live and can be found at www.booksandbenches.com. We'll post a few "reminders" on this blog once a week for a short while to give followers and subscribers a chance to get used to the new website.

This URL will automatically be redirected to the new website, but you can also sign up for our newsletter so you don't miss out on the great authors, special deals, book reviews, and more to come.

Not a fan of e-mails? We get it, and while we hope you'll change your mind, we've made it easy to follow us on some of your favorite social media sites. Just keep in mind that we don't control these sites, and can't guarantee you'll get updates in your news feeds.

 Facebook    ::    Twitter   ::    Google+    ::    Pinterest

We'd like to answer a question that more than one person has asked since we announced the change: "What is different about the new site?"

Other than it's an actual website and not an old-fashioned Blogger blog (which we admit we'll kind of miss), the new site is . . . A lot like this one, only super-sized. It will basically be more of what you want: book reviews, author interviews, contests, and of course the blog will continue. 

The heart and soul of the site will remain the same—to connect readers with books by giving authors a chance to share what they've written. We're not out to change the world, and this is certainly not a new concept, but we care so much about books and what they can do for people, that we feel it's important to play our part the best way we know how for as long as we're able. 

AUTHORS: If you have been a guest at this blog in the past, some posts, interviews, and reviews, have already been moved to the new website. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

ENCHANTRESS' SECRET: A Guest Post by Author Rain Trueax

Inspiration for authors comes from a multitude of sources. As often as not, I find a place arouses me to the potential for a book and often a series. A recent example of this began last December when walking and driving around Barrio Viejo, south of downtown Tucson. I was taking photos and enjoying the beauty of this historic neighborhood, currently in the throes of restoration.

Then it hita pueblo style townhouse and in front was a motorcycle. I saw young professionals who had helped save this neighborhood, who worked in downtown. They faced struggles, even dangers, and fell in love with the least convenient choices and at the worst times.

Much as I might like living that close to downtown, in an historic neighborhood, I already have a beloved second home north of Tucson in the desert. I can’t live in this barrio, but I can write characters who do.

Besides an interesting history (several of my Arizona historical romances revolve around the area), Barrio Viejo has a mystical element. Does it have the ghosts and spirits that my book has—well, how knows. What it does have for sure it the only known shrine to a sinner—El Tiradito where wishes come true for some—but as one of my historical heroines learned, watch out for what you wish. At El Tiradito, you may make a wish. Some stuff a paper into the adobe wall’s cracks. Others light a candle, and if it lasts all night, the wish will come true (see above). Check out the history of this shrine to see part of the appeal of this neighborhood. http://www.zocalomagazine.com/the-legend-of-el-tiradito/

Progress has a way of moving many things. It almost eliminated Barrio Viejo as the convention center and downtown interests saw more value in high rises than restored adobes. Fortunately, a group of those who loved this barrio fought for it. It now protected with its many reminders of historic Tucson like Carrillo Gardens and Elysium Grove. Not only have the homes been restored, or are in the process, but there is now more information on plaques that tell some of Tucson’s history.

As for my books, the first five to be set in Barrio Viejo will be of a family of natural born witches. Hey, with all the mystical vibes in this old neighborhood, how could there not also be witches? Book 1, Enchantress’ Secret, was out in June. Book 2 in early August is To Speak of the Unseen. The third probably in September, is titled A Price to be Paid. They are all romantic suspense with paranormal elements of the sort that… well, who really knows about mysticism. 

Rain Trueax
The Book
Denali Hemstreet, a witch, born into a family of shamans and witches, sees what happened earlier by the energies embedded in the surroundings.  As a detective in the family agency, she uses her skills, both natural and developed to solve crimes. 

Ex-seal, Nick Beringer paints with an intensity few can match, including images he does not understand. When he is accused of murder, he will soon find out there is much in the world he had no idea existed.

An idealistic witch and a hardened soldier find their mutual attraction urges them to overcome their differences to join forces, when another realm thrusts past their barriers and challenges their lives. Working from a detective agency, bookstore, and a boutique, the Hemstreet witches keep the order of the ‘old ways’ alive in the barrio.

Available at AMAZON.

Print Length: 167 pages 
Publisher: Seven Oaks
Publication Date: June 2, 2016

Book Trailer

Meet the Author
Born in the Pacific Northwest, growing up in the foothills of the Cascades, my constants have been a love of learning, nature, ranching, art, and family. I wrote my first book when I was in my early 20s and continued writing all my life. Writing was something I did for me until self-publishing became an option and a writer could put out books their way. Today I have 11 historical romances (Oregon and Arizona) and 12 contemporary suspense and paranormal romances-- all based in the American West. I am a member of RWA, PAN, Women Writing the West, and Saguaro Romance Writers.

When writing, I work from our family sheep and cattle operation in the Oregon Coast Range, a desert home near Tucson, Arizona, or from our RV somewhere in the inter-mountain west via satellite link. Our two cat kids travel with us-- unwillingly I might add. My husband of over 50 years, who I call Ranch Boss, and I have two grown children, and four grandchildren.

In all of my romances, the underlying themes are the values of generosity, hard work, courage, community, and living true to oneself—all the while intertwining the complications of physical attraction, sexuality and outside challenges, whether, malicious or societal. I call my stories 'Romances with an Edge' as they are stories of adventure and danger. They are generally spicy (between 3 and 4 on a scale of 1-5). Characters sometimes use strong language, as suits the action.

The end of May 2016, I plan to bring out the first of what will be a paranormal romance series—The Hemstreet Witches. Each romance will stand alone, but there will be an underlying theme throughout the series-- good witches trying to make their world a better place.
Romances explore relationships and in often in the most difficult of times. The romance novel can be seen as a fairy tale for adults. There is truth in their stories, as there is in all mythologies. I think of my books as emotional roller coasters for the protagonists who take the reader along. When a romantic novel doesn't build a bridge between story and reader, it hasn't fulfilled its highest purpose.